Gerontophilia

DIRECTOR: Bruce LaBruce

“Old men and gin bruise so easily,” says the wise and witty octogenarian Mr. Peabody in this characteristically controversial yet atypically sensitive new film by queer cinema bad boy Bruce LaBruce. From his bed in a Montreal nursing home, the aging theater queen shares nips from the bottle and tender caresses with handsome, smitten 18-year-old attendant Lake, in the throes of discovering his titular fetish for much older men. An unlikely May-December romance blossoms: a quirky and subversive development that challenges social propriety and gay culture’s fixation on youth with LaBruce’s customary revolutionary fervor (he is the wildly profane auteur behind L.A. Zombie and The Raspberry Reich).

Lake’s journey of self-discovery begins as a lifeguard at a public pool, where he sprouts a stiffy while administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on an elderly gentleman. While attracted to his feisty feminist girlfriend Desiree, Lake cannot deny his desire for senior citizens. Taking a job at the local “wrinkle ranch,” Lake more than enjoys giving sponge baths to the aging male residents—most especially Mr. Peabody, whom he sketches in the nude and then conspires with to hit the road on a drive all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Will their love survive the distance, not to mention Lake’s shocked and disapproving mom? Retaining his edgy outrageousness yet tempering his art-trash aesthetic with a newfound empathy, LaBruce’s unapologetically queer update of Harold and Maude will get a rise…and tears…from generations new and old.

— Steven Jenkins

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F123

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